Lab News


September 30, 2023:  Dr. Zu-Hang Sheng has been selected to receive the NIH Director’s Award for his seminal contributions to the understanding of axonal mitochondrial and lysosomal transport and maintenance of bioenergetics and cellular homeostasis in synaptic transmission and neural regeneration. Such outstanding accomplishments have brought special credit and distinction to NINDS. All current and former lab members are appreciated for their dedication and contributions.

August 8, 2023: Sunan Li was selected with honor to speak at the Symposium of Emerging Group Leaders at International Society for Neurochemistry Meeting held at Porto, Portugal. Sunan presented her unpublished work entitled Energy matters: reprogramming synaptoenergetics attenuates bipolar disorder-linked synaptic dysfunction and behavioral abnormalities”. Congratulations to Sunan for her well received presentation.

July 16, 2023: Xiu-Tang Cheng was selected to speak at 2nd Fusion Mitochondrial Conference held in Lisbon, Portugal. Xiu-Tang presented her unpublished work entitled “Disorganized mitochondrial nucleoids caused by oxidative stress contribute to aging-associated chronic decline of neuronal bioenergetics”. Congratulations to Xiu-Tang for her well received presentation.


September 15, 2022: We are excited to welcome two postdoctoral fellows joining the lab, Dr. Blaine Connor was recently awarded PhD from Johns Hopkins (Rejji Kuruvilla's lab) and Dr. Hriday Pandey was recently awarded PhD from National Brain Research Center, India (Pankaj Seth's lab). 

September 1, 2022: Congratulations to Joseph Roney, who was nominated and selected to speak at ICN-2022 Young Scientist Lecture. Zu-Hang co-chaired and gave a talk at the neuronal mitochondria session.

August 18, 2022: Our work (Li, Xiong, Huang & Sheng, Nature Metabolism, 2020) was cited as NIH Research Accomplishments "How the brain powers communication between neurons". Congratulations to Sunan and the team!

August 8, 2022: Welcome Alex Sathler joining the Sheng lab!  Alex is an NIH Post-Baccalaureate IRTA Fellow who was well trained in Dr. Maria C Franco lab at the Department of Biochemistry, Oregon State University, where he studied the spatial distribution of the oxidized protein in tumoroids of the u87 Glioblastoma and programed confocal image deconvolution algorithm. 

August 5, 2022: Congratulations to Sunan winning the NINDS Image Contest! Sunan established a mature excitatory neuron model that was differentiated from human iPSCs induced from Bipolar Disorder patient’s fibroblasts. This is the first human iPSC-derived neuron model in the lab. 

August 5, 2022: Welcome Aditi Kulkarni joining the lab! Aditi is a new PhD/MD student through the NIH-OxCam program and was well trained in Sandy Maday’s lab at University of Pennsylvania, where she did outstanding research studying regulation of autophagy in neuronal homeostasis and neurodegeneration.

August 1, 2022: Welcome Geetika Patwardhan joining the lab! Geetika is a Post-Baccalaureate IRTA Fellow well trained in the Fogelgren lab at University of Hawai'i Manoa, where she studied APP trafficking and autophagic-lysosomal transport. She was awarded the 2022 OVPRS Student Award for Excellence in Research at the University of Hawai'i for her exceptional accomplishments as a student researcher.

June 10, 2022: Dr. Rajat Puri, a research fellow in the lab, recently landed an exciting career path – accepted a Study Director position leading a research team in the Jackson laboratory. Congratulations for this fantastic job. Rajat have contributed to our lab by developing ER-Mitochondrial contact research in our transport-focused lab. Wishing him all the best and success in the Jackson laboratory.

March 25, 2022: Dr. Tao Sun, a long time research scientist and our lab manager, was recently transferred to the NINDS extramural Neurodegeneration Cluster and promoted to Health Program Specialist.  Tao made important contributions to our synaptic mitochondria research. Congratulations to Tao.


December 14, 2021: Dr. Zu-Hang Sheng receives 2021 NINDS Director's Award in Mentoring.

December 10, 2021: NIH Record highlights MILESTONE as "NINDS’s Sheng Wins FAPAC Mentorship Award

December 1, 2021: The Sheng lab held the first in person lab meeting since pandemic.

November 4, 2021: Congratulations to Ning Huang who accepted a faculty position in Xi’an Jiao-Tong University. In the past  four years postdoc research in the Sheng lab, Ning did impressively productive research and published two first-author papers (Current Biology, Neuron) and six co-author papers. We wish Ning the best in setting up his own laboratory and developing independent research career in China..   

October 19, 2021: Dr. Zu-Hang Sheng receives the 2021 Dr. Francisco S. Sy Award for Excellence in Mentorship at HHS. This award is in recognition of Dr. Sheng’s exceptional mentorship to others from the Asian American/Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community, fostering their professional growth and career development. 

October 13, 2021: Our review article entitled "Energy matters: presynaptic metabolism and the maintenance of synaptic transmission" by Sunan Li and Zu-Hang Sheng is accepted for publication at Nature Reviews Neuroscience.  Congratulations to Sunan! Hope the article makes contributions to this emerging field.

August 12, 2021: Our Neuron paper was officially accepted for publication. Congratulations to Kelly, Ning and all coauthors.

July 26, 2021: Congratulations to Joseph Roney for been selected Gregory Paul Lenardo Basic Science Award For Discoveries in Cellular and Molecular Biology. This award recognizes Joseph's  discoveries of fundamental cellular, molecular, or genetic processes using model systems that advance scientific understanding of biological processes in higher organisms.

April 29, 2021: Ning's paper on "Reprogramming  an energetic  AKT-PAK5 axis boosts axon  energy supply and facilitates neuron survival and regeneration after injury and ischemia" was accepted for publication in Current BiologyCongratulations to Ning and all authors!

March 28, 2021: Joseph's paper was accepted for publication at Developmental Cell. Congratulations to Joseph and all authors!

February 4, 2021: Congratulations to Joseph Roney for being awarded PhD by the University of Oxford, through the joint NIH-Cambridge-Oxford Program.  


2020. Lab Research was selected to the 2020 NIH Research Accomplishments - How the brain powers communication between neurons.


May 17, 2019Bing Zhou accepted a faculty position and set up his new lab in Beijing . Congratulations to Bing and good luck in the transition into a professor position.


2017. Lab Research was selected to the 2017 NIH Research Accomplishments - Mitochondria power neuronal axon growth and regeneration.

November 14, 2017: Dr. Sheng was elected to ASCB Fellows. ASCB Fellows are recognized for their meritorious efforts to advance cell biology and its applications and for their service to ASCB.

May 15, 2017: Mei-Yao Lin was selected to give an oral presentation of her recent Neuron work in the NINDS retreat on June 2, 2017.

May 9, 2017 Dr. Sheng delivered a keynote speech at the NIH Symposium of Protein Trafficking.

May 9, 2017Parry was accepted to the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University with a generous financial aid package. Congratulations to Parry!

April 4, 2017Tao Sun was awarded the Distinguished Achievement Award from Kelly Government Solutions. This is her second time to be awarded. Congratulations to Tao!

April 3, 2017: Mei-Yao Lin and Xiu-Tang Cheng’s paper was accepted by Neuron. Congratulations to both and other co-authors!

April 1, 2017 : Ning Huang joined the lab as a Postdoctoral Fellow, Welcome Ning!

February 23, 2017Xiu-Tang Cheng was awarded NIH Outstanding Graduate Research Award, and Joseph Roney was awarded NIH Graduate Student Research Award-New Proposal. Congratulations to Xiu-Tang and Joseph!

January 3, 2017Kelly Chamberlain joined the lab as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Welcome Kelly!2018


December 7, 2016: Dr. Sheng was appointed as an Associate Editor of Autophagy.

November 21, 2016 : Dr. Sheng was elected to AAAS Fellow for his distinguished contributions to the field of axonal transport of mitochondria, endosomes, autophagosomes, and lysosomes in maintenance of neuronal homeostasis and synaptic function in health and diseases.

November 12 2016: At 2016 SfN meeting held in San Diego Dr. Sheng presents a symposium talk on "Axonal transport essential for autophagy-lysosomal function in health and neurodegenerative diseases".

August 1, 2016: Joseph Roney joined the lab as a PhD student of NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars Program. Welcome Joseph!

July 11, 2016 : Parry Mendapara (from Rutgers) joined the lab as an NIH IRTA PostBac Fellow. Welcome Parry!

July 1, 2016: Xiu-Tang Cheng was awarded the title of "Shanghai Outstanding Graduate Student”, Xiu-Tang, you deserve it! Congratulations.

June 7, 2016 : Bing Zhou’s study on mitochondrial transport in facilitating axon regeneration is published in JCB. Congratulations to Bing!

April 25, 201 : Dr. Sheng delivered a Keynote Speech at 6th World Congress of Molecular & Cell Biology held in Dalian, China.

April 21, 2016: Xiu-Tang Cheng successfully passed PHD thesis defense. Congratulations for a new PhD through the NIH Joint Program with SJTU!

April 20, 2016: Tao Sun was awarded the Distinguished Achievement Award from Kelly Government Solutions. Congratulations to Tao!

March 22, 2016: Sheng lab new webpage is formally posted online. Thanks Sunan and her husband Yang in designing these fantastic pages!


Dec 7, 2015: Tamar Farfel-Becker was awarded the NINDS Intramural Competitive Fellowship Award. Congratulations to Tamar!

Sept 30, 2015: Dr. Sheng was invited to join JCB Editorial Board.